The Singapore Grand Prix made its debut on the Formula 1 calendar in 2008 as the first ever race to be run at night under floodlights. Let’s take a look at five of the best races at Marina Bay Street Circuit.
The inaugural Singapore Grand Prix will go down as one of the most controversial Formula 1 races of all time. Fernando Alonso was the unlikely winner for Renault from a lowly 15th on the grid, but the circumstances of his victory would become the subject of an FIA investigation one year later. The decisive moment in the race came on Lap 14, when Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed at Turn 17 and the Safety Car was deployed. Renault teammate Alonso had already taken on fresh rubber and suddenly found himself in the lead as the frontrunners dived into the pits. It later transpired that Piquet had been ordered to deliberately crash by Team Principal Flavio Briatore and Race Engineer Pat Symonds in order to benefit Alonso. The Spanish driver was not implicated, but Briatore and Symonds both left the team and were banned from working in Formula 1 for a number of years.
2010: Alonso Masterclass
Alonso didn’t need any outside help to win the 2010 Singapore Grand Prix for Ferrari, though he did have to survive a sustained race-long challenge from the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel. At the chequered flag, just 0.293 seconds separated Alonso from second-placed Vettel in a win that he described as one of the best of his career. Alonso also claimed his first ‘Grand Chelem’ by taking pole position, leading every lap of the race and setting the fastest lap.
2013: Vettel Dominates
Sebastian Vettel achieved the third of his five victories in Singapore with a dominant performance in the 2013 Singapore Grand Prix. Already en route to a fourth consecutive championship for Red Bull, the German was untouchable on the streets of Marina Bay. Vettel started from pole position, led every lap and set the fastest lap time and won the race by over 30 seconds from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
2016: Rosberg Wins
Nico Rosberg celebrated his 200th race start in style by winning the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix from pole position for Mercedes. Rosberg’s biggest threat on the day was not his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who struggled to keep pace due to brake issues, but the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. After pitting for a third time late in the race, the Australian rapidly closed a 30-second gap to Rosberg but was unable to get past. Rosberg won the race by under half a second and the win – his eighth of the season – would be crucial to sealing his maiden World Championship later in the year.
2017: First Corner Mayhem
The 2017 Singapore Grand Prix will be remembered for several notable firsts. A downpour just before the start saw the first wet running of a Formula 1 race under lights, and a big crash on the run down to the first corner eliminated both Ferraris; the first time in history that both of the Scuderia’s cars failed to finish the opening lap. The hapless victim of the Lap 1 crash was Max Verstappen, who was squeezed from both sides by the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. With most of the frontrunners eliminated, Lewis Hamilton cruised to another win for Mercedes and extended his Championship lead over Sebastian Vettel.
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